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Chasing the Dream: Use your mom influence for good

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Give back this holiday season — and always

Moms are powerful. And social moms? They yield great influence. How are moms in the social space using their pull to give back in their communities online and at home?

Blogging moms today have so much power between their strong readership and large followings on social media. Some moms are engaging their social networks to do good. Find out how two blogging moms are doing it.

Inspiring others to get involved

Helping women get involved in their communities led Nicole Bouchard Boles to blogging. "In 2007, I started a blog, The Frugal Philanthropist, as a way to inspire other moms to create positive change through low or no-cost activities," says Boles, author of How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist (Workman, 2009), a book that includes hundreds of different ideas on how to make a difference. "I began looking for easy, cash-free, and time-flexible ways that ordinary people (like me) could help. I volunteered as a baby-snuggler at my local hospital. I started doing ’click to donate’ campaigns on various websites, recycling for charity, collecting coupons or soup can labels for charitable organizations and more. By the time my daughter was born, I had located more than a hundred charities that could benefit from my brand of philanthropy," says Boles.

Her commitment to giving back is something she lives daily. "I show readers that there are ways to weave service and compassion into the things we’re already doing every day, such as shopping, working and spending time with our families. Not everyone can donate right now, but not every situation calls for money," says Boles. "Maybe you’ve been meaning to volunteer, but just haven’t found the time — and that’s OK! I blog a plethora of ways for anyone to make a difference, from donating clothing to using search engines that donate money with every click. And I believe, that no matter how big or small, what’s most important is that you’re doing your part!"

A new adventure (on foot!)

When Jacki started her blog, HJ Underway, it was to chronicle living abroad in France with her family. But after meeting another writer at BlogHer '12 in New York this summer, she found herself thinking more about social responsibility — and doing something big. "I knew I wanted to do something big, something that would make a huge impact. So I registered for the 2013 Kilimanjaro Marathon in Tanzania, which might not be a huge deal to some but at the time I had never run a mile in my life," says Jacki.

That decision spurred Jacki to action, raising money and training for her race. "I started running in September, literally doing a walk/run to start using Couch to 5K. I since then have advanced to a half marathon training program that's actually going really well. I couldn't even run a mile in September and I am happy to report that I can run almost six miles straight! I'm doing a charity Christmas 10K run next Sunday outside of Paris, which will be my first proper race," says Jacki.

Now she showcases the nonprofits she chose every Monday on her blog. "They include U.S. charities and global charities that specifically help women and children: Born Just Right, The Fistula Foundation, Every Mother Counts, East Meets West, Cradles to Crayons, The National Ovarian Cancer Collation, The Fisher House, as well as many small, grass-roots organizations such as the Ishahayi Beach School Foundation and the Kanga Project. My goal is to raise $500 for each of the 13 charities," says Jacki.

"In addition to blogging each Monday about each of the 13 charities, I'm also using Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to link up my posts and tag photos of training under the hashtag #13for13. My readers and fellow bloggers have been supportive and retweeting and sharing posts," says Vicki.

How do you give back?

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